I am pleased to welcome Morgan Zehner as Great Plains Institute’s (GPI’s) director of development. Morgan is a tenured nonprofit executive and consultant with 15 years of experience. He brings a combination of strategic management skills, deep knowledge of tactical fundraising practices, and a commitment to GPI’s mission. Continue reading »
In 2007, a bipartisan group of seven governors announced ground-breaking energy and climate agreements that would go on to shape the region’s energy system. Over a decade later, Wisconsin regulators recently approved the capstone transmission project, the last in a set of 17 “multi-value transmission projects” (MVPs) across the region representing $6.5 billion in investment that grew out of those original agreements. The MVP portfolio’s 17 projects will enable over 16 GW of wind generation to come online, delivering 52 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy throughout the MISO footprint through 2031. Put another way, without these lines, over 60 percent of the renewable energy needed to meet the region’s renewables goals through 2031 would have been curtailed. Continue reading »
Minnesota energy stakeholders came together at the end of August to learn about four areas of innovation happening across the state’s energy system. The event was put on by the e21 Initiative, a collaborative effort between the Great Plains Institute and Center for Energy and Environment that convenes diverse stakeholder groups to help shape and advance a decarbonized, customer-centric, and technologically modern energy system in Minnesota.
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During 2018-19, 28 Minnesota cities worked together in regional cohorts through the Cities Charging Ahead! (CCA) project to learn and act together to become “electric vehicle (EV) ready communities.” These cities increased their knowledge significantly and made strides toward their goals to foster EV adoption in their communities. CCA, which was led by the Great Plains Institute and Clean Energy Resource Teams, officially wrapped up in June but the cities have expressed an interest in continuing to meet periodically in their regional cohorts. To build on this interest and the knowledge gained through CCA, we’ve developed resources that are now available for other cities to learn from. Continue reading »
In the Midwest, powerful market drivers are creating an attractive environment for investors and developers to build more renewable energy projects and infrastructure. Declining technology costs for utility-scale wind and solar are combined in the region with an abundance of wind and solar resources. As utility-scale renewable energy projects increase across the region, it is important for communities to have an understanding of these market drivers and to prepare for project development and siting. Continue reading »
The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) have released the request for proposals (RFP) for the 2020 round of seed grants to catalyze clean energy projects all over the state of Minnesota. Continue reading »
Stakeholder groups working to increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption often highlight the money you can save by driving an EV over the lifetime of the vehicle as one of several benefits of switching to an EV. Many studies support this finding on EV savings (such as this one from MIT) and have caught the interest of cities which manage a fleet of vehicles. Recently, Minnesota cities working together in the Cities Charging Ahead effort (more info here) saw firsthand through an analysis of their fleet just how much they could save by replacing certain vehicles in their municipal fleets with EVs. Continue reading »
As part of our research on the economics of DC fast charging, the Great Plains Institute created a model to calculate the costs and revenue of operating an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Through our work with the EV industry, we’ve often heard charging operators, community leaders, and EV owners express a desire to explore how station operation impacts costs for both EV charger owners and users. Continue reading »
Great Plains Institute (GPI) is pleased to welcome Huong Nguyen as our new director of finance and administration.
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Combined heat and power (CHP) projects can deliver significant benefits to the energy system, industries, and utilities and their customers. These benefits include increased energy efficiency, lower emissions, greater system reliability and resilience, and financial savings. Continue reading »